"Without the crucifixion, there would have been no resurrection. And without the resurrection there would be no Christian faith. Folks, there are so many factors. You know, nonbelievers, they talk, they doubt they jeer at the resurrection of Jesus. But I'm going to tell you, it happened."

Family Discussions:

  1. Why did Jesus have to die? 
  2. Win the tombs is crazy, and then how can they explain a way of Jesus' resurrection?
  3. What thoughts and feelings come through to you?

Transcription:

00:13          You may not be a gigantic fan of history, but I'll tell you today you will be, because today we're going to look at the most provable event in all of ancient history. According to the libraries of the world, the most provable event in all of human history. It's after the crucifixion of Jesus. We'll pick up the action in Mark chapter 15 in verse 44 and scripture says this, "Pilate wondered if he, Jesus, was dead by this time. And summoning the Centurion, he questioned the Centurion as to whether he was already dead. And ascertaining this from the century, he granted the body of Jesus to Joseph. So Joseph bought a linen cloth and took him down, wrapped him in the linen cloth and laid him a tomb which had already been hewn out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Joses, were looking on to see where he was laid."
 
01:12          You know, without the crucifixion, there would have been no resurrection. And without the resurrection there would be no Christian faith. Folks, there are so many factors. You know, nonbelievers, they talk, they doubt they jeer at the resurrection of Jesus. But I'm going to tell you, it happened. First of all, you have a dead Messiah. Two Roman coroners signed his death certificate after he died, and if they were incorrect in their assessment of his death, they would have been crucified for their mistake. Eye witnesses say that a spear was driven into his side and blood and water came out. Any coroner will tell you it's a sign of a man's death. Then he was laid in a borrowed tomb in a private burial yard. He was wrapped in cloth and spices, probably about a hundred pounds of spices according to the Jewish burial from the top of his head to the soles of his feet.
 
02:05          A very large stone estimates that it raid between a one and a half to two tons will rolled against the door of the tomb. There've been estimates that said a stone so big that would take 20 men to move. The seal of Rome was put over the tomb. Two leather strips with a pack with a seal of Rome on the pack, threatening anyone. If you break this seal, you'll be crucified yourself for defying the order of Rome. Then a Roman guard was placed in front of the tomb and the Roman Kaleo, probably a group of 12 to 16 men trained to defeat a piece of ground against attire invading army. The tomb was guarded. Jesus was dead. But something happened on the third day. Something happened that changed the course of history. Jesus was alive. He was the resurrected savior. And so your faith is not in vain.
 
03:01          My questions for you today are this, why did Jesus have to die? And then secondly, why in the world or how can critics try to explain a way, Jesus' death? And to say that he was just asleep in the tombs is crazy, and then how can they explain a way of Jesus' resurrection? And then here's the third question, and this is a greatest question. True love was spoken on the day of the cross. What thoughts and feelings come through to you? And the lifeline is this. He wore the crown of thorns so that you and I someday could wear the crown of life.
December 28, 2019

Cry of Victory - Mark 15:37-39

"Let me tell you, from what I understand from history, the veil that covered the Holy of Holies in the temple was a veil, it was so thick that it would take more than a team. Two teams of horses pulling in opposite directions to rip the veil. The veil was the place that separated the mercy seat of God in the Holy of Holies, in God's temple in Jerusalem from all the people of the world."

Family Discussions:

  1. Describe your personal feelings about Jesus' work on the cross.
  2. How would you get to God had the veil not been torn in two?
  3. How in the world could you ever approach a Holy God?
  4. Describe your feelings about the privilege, the honor that you've been given by the act of love.

Transcription:

00:13          Hey, I'll never forget the day my little college team at SMU beat Oklahoma in a bowl game. I mean, we went in the locker, we went crazy. The cries of victory were just incredible, but compared to the cry of victory that we're going to talk about today in this devotional it was but a tiny peep. In fact, you can't even hear it. But this cry of victory was the greatest cry victory of all time. We're in Mark chapter 15 and verse 37 it says this, "and Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last and the veil of the temple was torn into from top to bottom." Verse 39 says, "when the Centurion who was standing right in front of him saw the way he breathed this last, he said, this man truly was the son of God." Jesus' cry was to tell a style. It's paid in full. Your debt is paid in full. It is finished. I've done what I came to do. His final grueling act of crucifixion was over. The veil was torn in two.
 
01:21          Let me tell you, from what I understand from history, the veil that covered the Holy of Holies in the temple was a veil, it was so thick that it would take more than a team. Two teams of horses pulling in opposite directions to rip the veil. The veil was the place that separated the mercy seat of God in the Holy of Holies, in God's temple in Jerusalem from all the people of the world. The only way you could get into the Holy of Holies was the high priest. The ultimate Jewish religious figure could go in once a year and he, after all the washings and purifications, according to the ceremonial rites, he could go in and plead for the mercy and the sins of the nation.
 
02:08          But on this day, when Jesus cried, it is finished. It's done to tell us that over the veil of the temple was torn in two. And men and women, you know what that means? Do you know what that means? That means to you and me that we, based on the blood of Christ, that is in our hearts as believers. We can enter the Holy of Holies and we can come to the mercy of God. Every time I say that I tremble. In the book of Hebrews, it says that we can approach the throne of grace with confidence. And I don't know about you, but every time I read this passage, it humbles me to my knees. That we can literally in the name of Jesus, close our eyes, or leave our eyes open in our days of our greatest sorrow. When this world crushes us as it does or in our days of greatest joy and victory, we can slip in before the mercy seat of God because Christ was the ultimate sacrifice. And his blood gave us the rights to go in before a Holy God and to say, God, I need you. God. Please forgive me, God, I give you my life.
 
03:24          And here's the questions for today. You know, as Jesus did that, as Jesus literally made God's lap as a father accessible to you to come to, describe your personal feelings about Jesus' work on the cross. And the second question today is this, how would you get to God had the veil not been torn in two? How in the world could you ever approach a Holy God? And then the third question is this, now that you can approach God with confidence as it says in Hebrews based on the blood of Christ, describe your feelings about the privilege, the honor that you've been given by the act of love. And then here is the lifeline or the thought for the day. A family that prays together stays together.

"It was at our sports kamps and there was a scrimmage between two great teams. One team had a young man from Boston, he was an inner city kid and he lived in one of the poorest places in the country. But this 19 year old young man had an incredible love for a woman he was going to marry. But there was a drive by and that old car came by the front of that inner city house and a gun was stuck out of the window of that car."

Family Discussions:

  1. What is Jesus' sacrifice for you mean to you?
  2. What is it about the name Jesus that makes it the name above every other name that at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord?
  3. How can you, in some small way today in your home, in your business, in your university, or in your school?
  4. How can you be a little bit like that boy from Boston today who took the bullets for his girlfriend?

Transcription:

00:13          If this was the only Bible study that you and I ever had the privilege of getting to do together, and trust me, the privilege is more mine, than it is yours. It would be this Bible study today. It was the darkest hour of all time, but it was the pinnacle peak hour of all human history. In John chapter 15, starting in verse 33 scripture says this, "when the sixth hour came, darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour. At the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice. 'ELOI, ELOI, LAMA SABACHTHANI', which is translated: 'My God, my God. Why has thou forsaken me?'" At that moment in history, Christ became sin.
 
00:58          At that moment in history, every creepy crawly thing that we've done against a Holy God literally became a part of that dear man's sacrificial offering. You know, I get to see events like that. Not to that degree, but in small ways. I get to see people doing things like that. I'll never forget the football scrimmage. I'll never forget it. It was at our sports kamps and there was a scrimmage between two great teams. One team had a young man from Boston, he was an inner city kid and he lived in one of the poorest places in the country. But this 19 year old young man had an incredible love for a woman he was going to marry. But there was a drive by and that old car came by the front of that inner city house and a gun was stuck out of the window of that car. And five bullets were shot at this precious innocent girl that was sitting by this young man's side. But not one bullet hit her because this young man dove across her lap and he took all five bullets into his neck and into his back. Not one of the bullets fortunately hit his spinal cord and he actually lived to play football again. But what a story of sacrifice, man. What a story of love.
 
02:23          I heard a story one time and I didn't know the man but there was a platoon that had to go fight in a very difficult war in Vietnam years ago. And the father of this soldier went over to fight and he was there for a year and somehow he survived, although tens of thousands of soldiers died in that awful war. Then the platoon was asked for another amount of soldiers. The father had come back to America to safety. But his son was in the second round and the father went to the officer and he said, 'if I go, can my son stay home?' And the commanding officer granted his request. So the got to stay home and safety and the father took his place in the battle. Boy, it just, it just fires you up, doesn't it? To see people who live and die like that.
 
03:11          And so my question to you today is Christ died in your place. What is Jesus' sacrifice for you mean to you? And secondly, what is it about the name Jesus that makes it the name above every other name that at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. What is it about that name? And the third question is this. How can you, in some small way today in your home, in your business, in your university, or in your school, How can you be a little bit like that boy from Boston today who took the bullets for his girlfriend? And then the lifeline is two words - I'm Third. I'm Third is the motto of the kamps that I get to be in. God first. Others second. And I'm Third.

"There is no doubt in the world that Jesus knew exactly who he was. He said, I am the vine in John 15. John 10, He said, I'm the door. John 14, He said, I am the way. In fact, he said, I am the only way. He said, I am the Christ."

Family Discussions:

  1. "A man is no fool to give up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." What does that mean to you?
  2. How can you be sure in your mind, in your heart that Jesus was actually God in the flesh?
  3. Why is that statement so significant to you as you face eternity?

Transcription:

00:13          Hey, as we come to the end of this fantastic book together, the book of Mark and the life of Christ. And we get down to the last really breasts of Jesus's life. He's before Pontius Pilate in chapter 14, and we're in verse 60 and it says, "the high priest stood up and came forward in question Jesus saying, do you not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against you? But he kept silent. It did not answer again. The high priest was questioning him and was saying to him, are you the Christ, the son of the blessed one? And Jesus said, I am. And then he fulfill the prophecy of Daniel when he said, you shall see the son of man sitting at the right hand of power coming with the clouds of heaven."
 
01:06          There is no doubt in the world that Jesus knew exactly who he was. He said, I am the vine in John 15. John 10, He said, I'm the door. John 14, He said, I am the way. In fact, he said, I am the only way. He said, I am the Christ. And then there were other witnesses. You know, Peter said, thou art the Christ the son of the living God. Pontius Pilate in the trial said, I find no fault in this man. Even one of the centurions, one of the guards that crucified Jesus at the end of Jesus' life, he testified. He said, this man must surely be the son of God. And then the apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy spirit in Colassians and other places, he said, Hey, Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God. The firstborn of all creation. Paul Roddy said, by him, by Christ, all things were created both in heavens and on the earth, whether visible or invisible, whether rulers or dominions or powers or authorities. All things were created by Jesus Christ and for Jesus Christ.
 
02:09          Jesus knew who he was. Scripture testifies, and literally from BC to AD, the watershed of human history. History testifies that Jesus was God in the flesh. And you know what's important about that? Only God who created you and created every person on this earth had the shoulders broad enough and the span wide enough to die for the sins of all mankind. And that's why John 3:16 says, but who ever, whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. You know, it has been amply said, a man is no fool to give up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.
 
03:02          By the way, for questions today, what does that last quote mean to you? A man is no fool to give up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. What does that mean to you? And then the second question is how can you be sure in your mind, in your heart that Jesus was actually God in the flesh? And then number three, why is that statement so significant to you as you face eternity? And here's the thought for the day. You know, an act of love that's unrivaled in greatness, rightly understood, can only produce consistent appreciation and obedience.

"Hey I had a fantastic dad. People called him Spike. And you know, my dad was firm. I'll never forget my last spanking from my dad with this belt. That was in seventh grade and I lied to my mom and I remember him coming in and he said. It was Friday and he said, bring me my belt on Sunday."

Family Discussion:

  1. Recall an event that you anticipated with excitement or one that you anticipated may be with fear. What was the difference?
  2. How do you personally view the imminent return of Christ?
  3. What can you do to make these days feel secure and bringing great peace in your mind?

Transcription:

00:13          I've entitled this devotional today, "The Lesson of the Fig Tree." But a more personal title would be "Daddy's Home." Listen to this. This is great. We're going to be in Mark chapter 13 in verse 28 and we're talking about the second coming of Christ. In fact, Jesus is giving us the signs of his coming. He said, these things are going to be happening all over the world and when you see these things happening, you better get ready because Christ is going to come and he's going to consummate the age in which we live. Verse 28 says, "now learn the parable from the fig tree when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. Even so, you too when you see these things happening recognize that he is near right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation shall not pass away until all of these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away." And then he, and then he hits the nail on the head. He said, "but if that day or hour, no one knows, not even the angels of heaven nor the son, but the father alone, but take heed. Keep on the alert. For you do not know when the appointed time comes."
 
01:29          Hey I had a fantastic dad. People called him Spike. And you know, my dad was firm. I'll never forget my last spanking from my dad with this belt. That was in seventh grade and I lied to my mom and I remember him coming in and he said. It was Friday and he said, bring me my belt on Sunday. I had three days to die knowing that on Sunday I was going to get creamed. But he probably didn't give me enough of 'em actually I probably deserve more but he was a great dad. Usually when my daddy would come and when I see my daddy, I was really happy to see him. My daddy would travel and he didn't travel because he wanted to. He traveled because he needed to. But when he'd come home, I was always so happy to see him. I'd go wait out in the driveway to see that old station wagon drive into my house. And then as a daddy myself, when my kids were small in the home, I had to travel a lot. And every time I'd leave home I'd look in the rear view mirror and I would grow so sad knowing that I had to go away for two or three weeks on the road to recruit. But I'll tell you what, coming home was an believable. I drive through the night oftentimes to get home, just to get one little glimpse of my kids. It might be three in the morning or four in the morning when I'd get home. And then man, the kids would run upstairs and you know, daddy's home, daddy's home. I'd hear the little pitter patter of their little feet. Those little footie pajamas that they'd wear. Sometimes they put signs and posters on the front of the house and in my closet, daddy's home.
 
03:02          Y'all, I think the best understanding of the return of Christ, if you really do love him, if you're a follower of his, if he lives in your heart, is that daddy is coming. Oh, it's not to be feared if you're a follower of Christ. Daddy's coming home. Hey, here's the questions for today. Recall, an event that you anticipated with excitement or one that you anticipated may be with fear. What was the difference? And how do you personally view the imminent return of Christ? And I believe it's imminent. And then next, what can you do to make these days, I mean, anticipation. Feel secure and bringing great peace in your mind? And then here's the thought for the day. Daddy's coming home. Daddy's coming home can be the three sweetest words in the English language.
December 17, 2019

The Higher Law - Mark 12:14-17

"Few years ago, I was easing down the highway about 70 miles an hour on in their state and came into a little construction zone and the sign clearly said the speed limit is now 45. Well, I didn't see anybody constructing anything. I just saw some warning signs. So I continued my merry little way at 70 miles an hour. Well, it wasn't long until I was reminded that, you know, what render to Caesar what Caesar's."

Family Discussions:

  1. Which things for your money do you enjoy giving the most?
  2. Which forms of giving and spending give God the most joy?
  3. Why is important to render under Caesar what is Caesar's with a positive attitude?

Transcription:

00:14          It's no wonder they called him Christ. The astonishing teacher. And he blew them out of the water then when he taught. And he blows us out of the water today. Listen to the wisdom of this passage today in Mark chapter 12 and starting with verse 14. It says this, "and they came to him and said to him, teacher, we know that you're truthful and defer to no one for you are not partial in any way, but you teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay tax, a poll tax to Caesar or not? Shall we pay or shall we not pay? But Jesus, knowing their hypocrisy said to them, why are you testing me? Bring me a denarius and look at it. They brought one and he said to them, whose likeness is on that coin? And they said, Caesars. And Jesus said to them, render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are gods. And they were amazed at him."
 
01:13          Few years ago, I was easing down the highway about 70 miles an hour on in their state and came into a little construction zone and the sign clearly said the speed limit is now 45. Well, I didn't see anybody constructing anything. I just saw some warning signs. So I continued my merry little way at 70 miles an hour. Well, it wasn't long until I was reminded that, you know, what render to Caesar what Caesar's. The red lights were flashing my rear view mirror. Probably the worst site in the whole wide world. I've seen him a couple of times more than I wish I could have, but, I was reminded and I ended up paying some kind of awful fine for speeding in a work zone even though nobody was there working render under Caesar what did the Caesar's.
 
01:57          You know, it's no wonder that R rated movies have an age limitation and really and truly, probably very few if any of them are good for any age. But for sure, not at a young age. You know, you're not supposed to drink alcohol til you're 21. Listen to the law. I love working in my Bible study with my high school seniors that are grappling with issues like this. And I love the guys that are really following God and are not just not drinking because it's age 21 and under, but because they don't want to ruin their witness to the school or to take the chance of ever becoming an alcoholic. But nevertheless, there's the law. Every April 15th, you know, we get an opportunity to support our government. And you know what? I can't tell you that I'm in favor of a lot of the things that our government does with our money, but you know what? It's the law. And so on April 15th, we pay our taxes, every penny of them. Don't we? Because it's the law of the land. So we rent under Caesar's what is Caesar's.
 
03:02          But I want to tell you something really important today. There's a higher law. You know, Adolf Eichmann was tried after the, you know, the Holocaust in World War II. He was one of the officers in Germany, one of the highest officers there responsible for killing millions of Jews. And in his trial, he said in his own defense, he said, I have obeyed the law and the flag. So he was obeying Hitler and the Nazi flag. But there was a higher law. It was a moral law. It was a law of God that you don't kill. And so he disobeyed the higher law. Unfortunately, he was convicted of his crime.
 
03:36          So it is America in the world today. You know, the law says that you can take a little baby, a precious little baby, you know, no matter what size or what age they are inside of your womb. And you can take that baby's life away. Well, it's the law of this land, but there's a higher law. The higher law says that every life is valuable. Every life is precious. Even the life of an unborn child. There's a lot of laws in this country, and you know what? We're gonna pay our taxes and we're gonna, you know, obey the laws of the land. Except when there's a higher law. And that law is the law of God. It's the highest law of all.
 
04:17          So here's the questions for today. You know, money goes to the government. Money goes to God's ministries on earth. Money goes to our families needs and money goes to our families wants. But which of these things for your money do you enjoy giving the most? And then which forms of giving and spending give God the most joy? And I hope you've got some things in your life and in your homes that really give you joy. That you give sacrificially to. The third question is, why is important to render under Caesar what is Caesar's with a positive attitude? Whew. Here's the lifeline. You know, in a family, you know, dad has his God given authority. In a family, mom has her God given authority. And you know what? If you're a teenager living in a home, you'll have yours in due time. But when you render under Caesar, it brings unity and it brings harmony to the family.

"Now I've got this little friendly Eagle by my side and he is really beautiful. And you know, sometimes this thing almost looks like he's alive. You can just look at his face and you can just see the handy work of God in this Eagle. Every feather created perfectly, beautifully."

Family Discussions:

  1. Why do people continue to demand signs from God when they're all over creation?
  2. What signs have you seen lately that have awed you like it awed me?
  3. What is the sign of God's creative amazement that mean the most to you?

Transcription:

00:13          Every time my eyes go into the Word of God, I just get fascinated all over again. And I'm fascinated today. Jesus' Words always just penetrate your heart. They penetrate your life, your intentions, your motives. Listen to this one today he is shooting it straight again. It's in Mark chapter eight and we're in verse 11 through 13. And here's what it says. "The Pharisees came out and began to argue with Jesus, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him. And Jesus says, why does this generation seek for a sign? Truly I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation. Leaving them, He again embarked and went away to the other side." You know what? He's given enough signs. The greatest sign of all is thatthey're all over the world. They're around people's necks. They're on Bibles. They're on church, steeple sides. You know, the cross is the greatest sign of all time, but there's also signs everywhere.
 
01:21          Now I've got this little friendly Eagle by my side and he is really beautiful. And you know, sometimes this thing almost looks like he's alive. You can just look at his face and you can just see the handy work of God in this Eagle. Every feather created perfectly, beautifully. A young man came to my office one time. He said, I don't believe in God when I had this Eagle by my side, which by the way is not a real Eagle. A taxidermist took feathers from chickens and dyed them to make them look like an Eagle. Although sometimes he does look a little bit alive if you just look at him just right and he almost looks you in the eye. And I just showed this young man the Eagle. And I said, Hey, either this Eagle happened by chance, by accident or somebody designed, somebody thought up that Eagle, and he said, well, it's obvious somebody designed that Eagle. It happened just like that. He became a creationist as I am rather than an evolutionist.
 
02:18          When you look up in the sky at night. Talk about a sign. You're looking at one galaxy, the Milky Way, 544 quadrillion miles wide with 4 billion stars, and then there's 99,999 other galaxies up there in the sky, all declaring the wonder if God. Do you know what? That this entire cosmos that you and I live under the whole cosmos is a sign from heaven. The anthropic principle, which is now traveling through the hallways of science, says that the whole cosmos was designed perfectly so that you and I could live on planet earth. As Dr. Francis Collins, the scientists who designed the genome declared just three or four years ago. If the gravitational constant was off one part in a hundred million millionth, it would be impossible for life to exist today. What he's saying is there's an orchestra leader, there's a conductor of the cosmos who turns everything perfectly intricately for you and now to be able to live on planet earth.
 
03:20          There are signs everywhere, right Eagle? But the greatest sign of all is the sign of the cross. So here's the questions today. Why do people continue to demand signs from God when they're all over creation? And the second one is a great question. What signs have you seen lately that have awed you like it awed me? And then the third question is this. What is the sign of God's creative amazement that mean the most to you? For me, the greatest sign is when this happens in the life of a lost friend, and that friend is born to eternal life. Well, here's the lifeline today. When you wonder where God is, Hey, look all around you and thank him for the miracles that fill your heart and fill your home.

"One of the many reasons I just admire my wife and every cell in her body is the witness that she has to her family. Her family were not believers but one by one because of the life of that girl that grew up in a home that just didn't know God."

Family Discussions:

  1. Why was it the most difficult for Jesus to be effective right there in his own hometown?
  2. Why is it the most difficult for you to be a true witness for Christ in your home?
  3. How can your family support you and how can you support your family as you try to be an effective witness in your home?

Transcription:

00:13          You know, the reason I love this book so much is because it's Word of God obviously. And because the new Testament of course is a whole lot about Jesus. In fact, it's all about Jesus. And the Old Testament points toward the coming of Jesus. And the New Testament, points back at the life of Jesus. But he was just so incredibly wise. And the things that he says, man, they hit you right in the heart. This is this a great statement to anybody who is in any member of a family. This is about being a Christian at home. We're in Mark chapter six and we're in verse one and it says this. "Jesus went out from there and came in to his hometown and his disciples followed him. When the Sabbath came, it goes on. He began to teach in the synagogue there in his hometown. And many listeners were astonished saying, where did this man get his wisdom? It's been given to him. And the miracles performed by his hands. Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon? Are not his sisters with him here with us? And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, a prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household."
 
01:32          Hey, it's easy to be a witness out there, he's saying. But what about in your home? Man, I opened my heart and let Jesus come in when I was 17. I was a high school kid. My world was football. There were a lot of inconsistencies in my life. And you know what my greatest desire was to witness to my brother. My big brother, Bill, has always been my hero. But I wanted to share Christ with him. He wasn't a believer. He might've believed here, but didn't believe here. I don't think any of us knew that you could open your heart, let Jesus literally come into your heart. But I just did the best I could to be a friend to Bill. And you know what? I will never forget the night, probably five years later that I got to pray with bill and I saw my brother except Christ into his heart. It was definitely one of the greatest years of my life. You know, home may be the most difficult place in the world to witness, but it is always, and it will always be the best place on earth to let your light shine for God.
 
02:49          One of the many reasons I just admire my wife and every cell in her body is the witness that she has to her family. Her family were not believers but one by one because of the life of that girl that grew up in a home that just didn't know God. With a home without a dad. It was just a mess in a lot of ways. But Debbie Jo was a witness and she still remains a witness and we see her family members, like several of those folks in her family come to Christ. And live completely different lives. So, it happens everywhere and I know it can happen in your home.
 
03:28          So let me ask you these questions. Why was it the most difficult for Jesus to be effective right there in his own hometown? That was Jesus. And then secondly, why is it the most difficult for you to be a true witness for Christ in your home? And then thirdly, how can your family support you and how can you support your family as you try to be an effective witness in your home? And here's the thought for the day. You know, a family that is quick to forgive, a family that is quick to forgive and slow to judge is the home where witnessing is easy.

"I have a little friend, her name is Jenna and she's a hero. This precious girl for decades has suffered from deteriorating sinuses. She has probably not had a healthy day in her life for 20 years. In fact, on a regular basis maybe annually they have to come in and peel her skin down off her face and go into her sinuses and do work on her sinus cavities. And then to make matters worse, she has a horrible two year battle with hepatitis. And then she had a terrible personal, but terrible tragedy happened in her life. It was so hideous and so wrong. But every time I talked to Jenna, she's filled with joy."

Family Discussions:

  1. Can you recall a recent storm in your life and how do you normally act to the wind and the waves?
  2. Call attention to a fellow family member or to a friend who was faithful to God in a recent stormy period and compliment that family member or that friend for how they handled it.
  3. Why is faith in the storm so important for us to live and to learn?

Transcription:

00:13          Hey, this is an awesome devotional today from an awesome passage in scripture. This is just fantastic. This is a day when Jesus took his 12 followers, his disciples, on a little boat ride that they'll never ever forget. And as my friend and my mentor, Dr. Howard Hendrick says, "it's one thing to have the boat in the water, but it's something else to have water in the boat.' This was the day the boat was filled with water. We're looking at Mark chapter four verse 35. On the memorable date. He said, "when evening came, Jesus said to them, his disciples let us go over to the other side of the lake. So leaving the crowd, they took him along with them in the boat just as he was, and other boats were with him. And there arose a fierce Gale of wind and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus himself was in the stern asleep on the cushion, and they woke him and said to him, teacher, do you not care that we're perishing? And he got up and he did something amazing. He rebuked the wind and said to the sea, hush, be still. And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And Jesus said to them, why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?"
 
01:37          You know, I have a little friend, her name is Jenna and she's a hero. This precious girl for decades has suffered from deteriorating sinuses. She has probably not had a healthy day in her life for 20 years. In fact, on a regular basis maybe annually they have to come in and peel her skin down off her face and go into her sinuses and do work on her sinus cavities. And then to make matters worse, she has a horrible two year battle with hepatitis. And then she had a terrible personal, but terrible tragedy happened in her life. It was so hideous and so wrong. But every time I talked to Jenna, she's filled with joy. She's filled with peace. She's filled with happiness. I mean, what a blessing that girl is. And she's gone through more pain and more suffering than I think almost anybody that I know.
 
02:34          And so I called Jenna, said, Jenna, you know, how can you stay? How does your faith stay so strong? Why aren't you complaining? And she said this to me. She said, I have reckon my life is a fight. I can either fight God or I can fight to make good out of it. She said, I have chosen the latter. I consider the pain I face very small in comparison to the great things God is doing with my life. She says, my emotions make me mad or sad or depressed, but I've got to override my emotions and stop and think what is true. The truth is that my life is his and he is a faithful father no matter what. And I can always say every day, I love God. You know what? Jenna had one step up on the disciples the day they stepped into the boat with Jesus. You know, storms don't destroy a Christian's faith. They test it. They strengthen it. Thank you Jenna, for passing the test and showing us that no matter how big the storm is, that we find ourselves in, Jesus is always in the boat.
 
03:49          And here's the questions for today. Can you recall a recent storm in your life and how do you normally act to the wind and the waves? And the second question is this. Everyone, if you're in a family right now or your business location, wherever you are, call attention to a fellow family member or to a friend. If you're studying this together, a friend who was faithful to God in a recent stormy period and compliment that family member or that friend for how they handled it. And then here's the third one. Why is faith in the storm so important for us to live and to learn? And the thought for today is this. The family, the home is the place that if it's done, like Jenna, can calm the mini storms on this earth.

"My next door neighbor Gary Smalley, who I just absolutely love, told me a story one time. I think he said it was true, but it sounds a little fishy to me, but it's a story about an ice fishermen and one of the great lakes up near Wisconsin. Lake was frozen solid. And so the guys would go out and they put huts all over the ice and then they drill a hole down in the middle of the ice and actually catch fish and pull them up through the hole."

Family Discussions:

  1. Why did Jesus choose 11 of the 12 men He chose to be his fishermen to be his disciples?
  2. What does fishing for men mean?
  3. Go around and ask each other, one quality that you see in each other that Jesus would identify as the reason he would choose each person to be his fishermen. 

Transcription:

00:14          Today back in the book of Mark. We're still in the first chapter. Two great verses to share with you today. I can't wait to get into the study. We're looking at chapter one, verse 16 through 18 and it talks about Jesus choosing his disciples. And it says this, "as he was going along by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, follow me and I'll make you fishers of men." Verse 18 says, "immediately they left their nets and followed him." My next door neighbor Gary Smalley, who I just absolutely love, told me a story one time. I think he said it was true, but it sounds a little fishy to me, but it's a story about an ice fishermen and one of the great lakes up near Wisconsin. Lake was frozen solid. And so the guys would go out and they put huts all over the ice and then they drill a hole down in the middle of the ice and actually catch fish and pull them up through the hole.
 
01:11          On this one particular day, this one fishermen had a golden retriever. His favorite pet golden retriever in the hut with me. If you can picture the scene on a very cold day. And he gets a nibble on his line and pretty soon the fisherman pulls up this gigantic massive fish. He tries to grab me with his hands. The fish slips away back down under the ice. In the excitement, the retriever dives for the fish. He misses the fish and disappears under the ice. For 60 perilous seconds, the fishermen mourn the loss of his dog who had disappeared under the ice and then just down the ice just a few yards away. He heard the scream of another fisherman in a hut nearby as the golden retriever popped his head up in the ice, the hole in the ice in the other fishermen's hut. Can you imagine what the fisherman thought as he was looking for a fish and he saw a dog popping up in his hut?
 
02:07          Anyway, I don't know about that story Gary, but I loved the eager fishermen. I love to fish. I've got a friend and he is an eager fisherman. He every day he takes his lunch hour to go fishing. But you know, what's really fun for me is to travel to football teams and baseball teams and the NFL and professional baseball and to go to college teams and almost every single locker room that I go into almost every chapel, whether it's college or the pros, there's a fisherman. There's one guy who is just absolutely committed to Christ. There's some of the best players in baseball, some of the best players in football, but they are fisherman. And then we're going to do a chapel and sometimes they'll bring 20 or 30 or 40 guys with them to the chapel because the fishermen are so eager. I do high school Bible study. I just did one last night. And I meet with these guys for years as they go through high school and they're always built around one solid committed Christian Guy and his friends who want to come and see what makes his life so happy.
 
03:14          So the questions today are this, why did Jesus choose 11 of the 12 men He chose to be his fishermen to be his disciples? And second question is a good one. What does fishing for men mean? Think about your environment you're in. And number three says, go around if you're sitting at a table with your family or you're sitting in an office watching this, ask each family member or each guy or woman who's in your study, one quality that you see in each other that Jesus would identify as the reason he would choose each person to be his fishermen. Why would he call that person? So compliment the people around you and tell them what you see in them that makes them somebody that Jesus would choose efficiently. And the thought for the day is this. Be an eager fisherman wherever God takes you today.

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